I suppose it is natural for a reader to compare their quirky habits or physical features with the characters roaming around the inside of books. I have always practiced this comparison while reading as a way of involving myself in the story and doing my best to LIVE what I am reading. However, this particular book grabbed my attention more so than others with the physical description of the main character, Skeeter. She described herself in bits and pieces throughout the novel, and each time I felt as if I were hearing an illustration of what I looked like at the age of 19. I daresay my physical appearance has changed a bit now that I'm 30 and have given birth to 3 kids, but I believe that maybe I looked a bit like Skeeter at one time.
She describes her hair as "whitish blonde, breaking off easily, like hay. My skin is fair and while some call this creamy, it can look downright deathly when I'm serious, which is all the time. Also, there's a slight bump of cartilage along the top of my nose."
Her "pointy, beak-like" nose made her nickname more appropriate, luckily everyone just called me Jayme. The illustration continues, "By sixteen I wasn't just not pretty, I was painfully tall. The kind of tall that puts a girl in the back row of class pictures with the boys. The kind of tall where your mother spends her nights taking down hems, yanking at sweater sleeves, flattening your hair for dances you hadn't been asked to. " As grateful as I am to have a nicer sounding name than Skeeter, I am even more thankful I had a very kind, supportive mother who always told me tall was beautiful and to be happy with the fact that I could get a job putting pickle jars on the top shelf at the super market.
Although my outward appearance was very similar to Skeeter, I only WISH I was as mentally strong as her. She was proficient at being objective yet caring, and she was charitable yet intolerant, she was sentimental yet revolutionizing. I loved her complete lack of concern for public opinion.
The whole book was reassuring to me that maybe one day there will be enough "movers and shakers" to make this a more pleasant place to live.
A few more of my favorite quotes: "But Mother once told me tongue kissing would turn me blind and I'm starting to think it's all just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sure no one ever has any fun." "Still, I shrug, try not to notice how when a regular girl gets asked out, it's information, but when Skeeter gets asked out, it's news." "Down in the national news section, there's an article on a new pill, the "valium" they're calling it, 'to help women cope with everyday challenges.'"
"There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism."
Kathryn Stockett was very successful in tackling the affectionate subject.
I recommend this book to all readers.